Kansas City native Royce Handy is among the area’s most active and community-minded artists. To support the city’s creative youth, he co-founded the We Are R.A.P. hip-hop education program in 2017. He established The Rap Asylum open mic showcase to highlight local producers and emcees. He speaks at schools, businesses and organizations around the city to create awareness of empowering and educational possibilities through hip hop.
As a musician, he’s an emcee and songwriter who performs under the moniker They Call Me Sauce, along with being a key member of the NuBlvckCity collective. With tours anchored around bigger events like the Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham, Alabama and Lincoln Calling in Nebraska, Sauce’s profile continues to build throughout the region.
His songs often concentrate on providing a platform for underrepresented groups. For example, his #SoulFood album series is dedicated to black men and black women, telling individual stories of a collective significance and consciousness.
Today, we’re premiering a track that follows in these footsteps, entitled “Expensive Dessert.”
“Designed exclusively for the ladies, the Expensive series pays homage to women and how much they are worth and should be valued,” Sauce said. “They are ‘...expensive, extra special.’”
"Expensive Dessert" is an affectionate, catchy bop that employs Sauce's slick, masterful flow. It also surfaces at a time when most live performing artists continue to put their live careers on hold. For Sauce, that means nearly two dozen paid gigs, and a 10-city tour with NuBlvckCity — all canceled or postponed indefinitely.
But central to his message as an artist, he's used this time to hone in on his craft, and find new ways to connect with people he can't reach in person right now.
“I’ve invested more into my home studio and have been designing graphics and new merch,” he said. “To any artist in the same position: Do anything to keep pushing the art out. Create every day, stay inspired and focused. Someone needs what you have.”
Check out “Expensive Desert” and visit They Call Me Sauce’s Bandcamp page to download the song and get some exclusive merch around the release. Next Thursday, May 14 at 7:15 p.m., he'll be doing a livestream concert via Couch X Couchwest. Find out more details at this link.